China postpones launch of robotic cargo spacecraft
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) May 20, 2021
The launch of China's Tianzhou 2 robotic cargo spacecraft that was originally scheduled for early Thursday morning has been postponed due to technical issues, according to the China Manned Space Agency.
The agency said in a brief statement shortly before the preplanned launch time that the new launch time will be determined in due course.
It didn't give more details.
China to launch Tianzhou 2 cargo ship for space station supply mission
Propellants have been pumped into a Long March 7 carrier rocket at a coastal launchpad at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in the southernmost island province of Hainan, and the launch is set to take place at about 1 am, the agency said in a brief statement on Wednesday night.
The rocket will transport the Tianzhou 2 cargo ship to a low-Earth orbit to rendezvous and dock with the unmanned core module of the Tiangong space station and then conduct autonomous refueling and resupply operations, it said.
The core module, named Tianhe, or Harmony of Heavens, was lifted by a Long March 5B heavy-lift rocket at the Wenchang launch center on April 29.
Now traveling in a rendezvous orbit waiting for Tianzhou 2, the module has carried out a series of tests to verify its designs for rendezvous and docking operations, astronaut accommodation as well as experimental equipment, said the agency.
After their in-orbit connection, Tianzhou 2 will inject propellants into the module and transfer necessities for the astronauts who will be stationed there.
China's most adventurous space endeavor, Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace, will consist of three main components - a core module attached to two space labs - with a combined weight of nearly 70 metric tons. The entire station is set to work for about 15 years, mission planners have said.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
China's core space station module Tianhe completes in-orbit tests
Beijing (XNA) May 19, 2021
China's core space station module Tianhe has recently completed its platform function tests and entered the orbit to rendezvous and dock with the Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) on Tuesday. The core module, which was sent into orbit on April 29, has recently completed platform function tests for rendezvous and docking, astronaut stay and the mechanical arms, as well as in-orbit performance checks for space application project equipment. The CMSA ... read more
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